Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Science. 2002 Dec 13;298(5601):2185-8. Epub 2002 Nov 14.

A late Triassic impact ejecta layer in southwestern Britain.

Author information

  • 1Department of Geology and Petroleum Geology, Kings College, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen AB24 3UD, UK.


Despite the 160 or so known terrestrial impact craters of Phanerozoic age, equivalent ejecta deposits within distal sedimentary successions are rare. We report a Triassic deposit in southwestern Britain that contains spherules and shocked quartz, characteristic of an impact ejecta layer. Inter- and intragranular potassium feldspar from the deposit yields an argon-argon age of 214 +/- 2.5 million years old. This is within the age range of several known Triassic impact craters, the two closest of which, both in age and location, are Manicouagan in northeastern Canada and Rochechouart in central France. The ejecta deposit provides an important sedimentary record of an extraterrestrial impact in the Mesozoic that will help to decipher the number and effect of impact events, the source and dynamics of the event that left this distinctive sedimentary marker, and the relation of this ejecta layer to the timing of extinctions in the fossil record.

Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk